Halloween Ends came home on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD physical media this week, and today we are breaking down and giving our review of all the bonus content included in the Collector’s Edition release.
While you can read our previously published review of the film itself here, this article will focus on the overall presentation of and bonus features included in the 4K release.
The 4K set that we were provided by Universal Pictures includes a Blu-ray disc and Digital code, and it comes in an embossed slipcase featuring the theatrical poster image of Michael Myers, matching the disc case’s cover art.
First up among the extras, I don’t understand why any of the six deleted and extended scenes were removed from the theatrical cut of the film, as each would have added a bit more punch, and in some cases blood, into certain key elements only hinted at in the final edit.
Here is our breakdown of the six deleted and extended scenes:
– Michael Shakes Things Up is an alternate version of Corey waking up in the sewer pipe/cave for the first time and promptly getting an early beatdown by Michael, before a failed attempt at escaping, and, most importantly, the discovery of decomposed corpses and skeletons confirming that Myers had been killing throughout his four-year “absence” between the events of the previous two films and now. The exact staging in which Corey is startled by the dead bodies almost mirrors the scene from the original 1978 Halloween in which Laurie discovers her friends all murdered by The Shape.
– Joan’s Bunny Slam is a slightly extended cut of Laurie’s confrontation with Corey’s mom, better exhibiting Joan’s simmering rage toward Strode, which mirrors that of the town’s, a tragic sort of mass victim shaming.
– Corey Reflects Upon Himself displays Corey’s growing obsession with Allyson, as he is clearly on a never-before-felt high after killing Dr. Mathis, the bloody details of which get some quick flashback shots that should have made this very short sequence a keeper.
– Ronald’s Stuck at Work is easily the most expendable of these six scenes, bringing little to the story beyond solidifying the fact that Ronald, like Corey, cannot stand Corey’s mom, as he lies to her about being busy at work, while really watching Hard Target, to avoid being around her.
– Margo Gets the Boot is just a few extra seconds of bully-with-a-conscience Margo’s kill scene, which delivers the gory goods in gruesome detail. Joey Harris, who plays Margo, told us about shooting her original death scene and much more in our exclusive interview here.
– Joan’s Recipe for Disaster is the most inexcusable and inexplicably deleted scene, not only showing Corey’s vicious destruction of his insanely overbearing mom, but masterfully intercutting his repeated stabbings with a large group of trick or treaters outside, at first singing the song from opening of John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween as Cunningham silently stalks his mother, then smashing pumpkins, throwing toilet paper, and raising general All Hallows mayhem amid a loud chanting for candy outside. It is a wild kill scene filled with Halloween Night atmosphere in which a rightfully despised character gets her due, and it should have made the theatrical cut. It is the best of these deleted and extended scenes.
There is also a fun gag reel featuring about two and a half minutes of behind the scenes bloopers and laughs, showing the lighter side of making a horror movie, highlighted by Andi Matichak’s declaration, “I am not and will not ever be a scream queen, but I will always be a scream princess.”
There are six different featurettes, all together totalling about 36 minutes of behind the scenes footage and on set interviews will all of the primary cast, crew, and creative talent.
– Ending Halloween is an eight-minute featurette on the much-hyped final fight between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, with plenty of behind the scenes footage of Jamie Lee Curtis and James Jude Courtney (watch our interview here) rehearsing the battle and taking the hits themselves. Not surprisingly, no mention is made of the fact that this franchise has ended their battle by killing off Laurie definitively three times before – starting with her off screen death in Halloween 4, followed by her rooftop death in Halloween: Resurrection, and most recently her (and Michael’s) tragic end in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II.
– Final Girl is a four and a half minute featurette with Jamie Lee Curtis and others discussing the legacy of Laurie Strode and what playing the character has meant both to Curtis and to the franchise. It includes footage from her final day shooting as Laurie, which includes lots of tears, and Matichak on set for support and wearing what appears to be her own spin on Laurie’s classic blue shirt and jeans outfit.
– No Place Like Haddonfield runs about eight minutes, in which the ilmmakers and cast detail some of the secret ingredients that make Halloween productions so special, as many of them express their personal feelings on being a part of the most hallowed franchise in horror.
– A Different Threat Is five and a half minutes devoted to the introduction of Corey Cunningham to the Halloween mythology, a product of a Haddonfield that has descended into a new era of darkness and decay, as the evil that haunts it takes on a new shape. All of these featurettes are notable in that they let us see Rohan Campbell, who plays Corey, enthusiastically talking about the part and stepping into the franchise in such an unexpected and yet pivotal way.
The Visions of Terror is a five and a half minute look at how various production departments came together to create the film’s unique visual style, with a welcome focus on Michael Simmonds, the director of photography for all three recent Halloween movies, and everything that he brings to the table.
– Twisted Deaths runs about five minutes, featuring an up-close look at some of the more gruesome kills, as special effects makeup artist Christopher Nelson and others explain how they worked to differ Corey’s sloppy and messy kills from Michael’s methodically precise and practiced style, and how Myers’ kills are random and purely evil, while those of Cunningham are each a twisted form of justice. This featurette interestingly shows much more of Diana Princess’s radio station receptionist death scene than is in the actual movie.
The centerpiece of the bonus content is a feature commentary track with co-writer and director David Gordon Green, actors Andi Matichak and Rohan Campbell, co-producer and first assistant director Atilla Salih Yücer, and production assistant Hugo Garza, and for such an unusually crowded commentary track, it is remarkably well balanced, with no one ever talking over anyone else, with most of the participants happily leaving plenty of room for Green to drop pearls of origin and insight throughout the nearly two-hour runtime. It is Garza too, who provides some fascinating examinations of various thematic elements of the film.
Here are some of the highlights that we learned about while listening to the commentary track:
- The upbeat opening music (“Midnight Monsters Hop” by Jack & Jim) is purposely in contrast to the usual horror music opening, but Green felt it fits since this film is so contrarian to many things viewers are likely expecting.
- Green confirms that the chosen font and blue colored opening credits are an homage to those of the 1982 sequel Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
- Green says that he see the entire film as an homage to so many things he has loved about John Carpenter’s body of work, stating that he wanted Ends to be to Carpenter what Stranger Things is to Spielberg.
- The opening credits pumpkins are meant to symbolize what is emerging in Haddonfield, with each jack-o’-lantern emerging from inside the previous one appearing more evil, until the final, uncarved pumpkin opens to reveal a sort of humanish guts inside.
- Green was well aware of the risk of not showing Michael Myers for such a long time in the beginning of the movie, which is why the flashback scenes of his prior carnage from the previous films is shown during Laurie’s early narration.
- The woman shown to have hung herself wearing a devil costume is actually the mother of Oscar, who was killed by Myers in Halloween 2018, wearing her son’s devil costume, following her brief appearance at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital in Halloween Kills.
- Green acknowledges that the DJ character Willy the Kid is basically this film’s version of Adrienne Barbeau’s DJ character Stevie Wayne in John Carpenter’s The Fog.
- The Willy (spelled in this scene “Willie”) the Kid billboard seen as Allyson is pulled over by Officer Doug Mulaney was originally a billboard advertising the Rabbit in Red lounge, but was later digitally changed to the DJ promo in order to keep his character in viewers’ minds.
- Garza says that in his mind, in Haddonfield, people say to your face what would normally be said on social media, hence Laurie’s tense confrontation with Sondra’s (Diva Tyler, watch our interview here) sister outside the supermarket. That confrontation, it is later revealed in the commentary, was originally supposed to be a now mentally broken Sheriff Barker (played by Omar J. Dorsey) in the wheelchair with his wife chastising Strode. When Dorsey was not available for the filming the scene, it was changed to resurrect the previously thought dead cemetery caretaker Sondra.
- Allyson and Corey’s dance at the Halloween party is actually a metaphor for their whole story in the film, right up to and including its tragic end with her standing over him.
- Allyson leading Corey up the stairs, as Laurie looks on, is a direct homage to Judith Myers leading her boyfriend up the stairs in 1963, as Michael looked on in the opening of the original Halloween.
- Garza explains that Corey’s evolution can be tracked through four different falls from high places in the film when he is around, starting with Jeremy’s accidental fall in the beginning that changes him forever; followed by the bullies accidentally causing Corey to fall over the bridge, which then changes him even further as he meets Michael; followed by his carefree fall from the WURG radio tower, at which point he is totally different than he was and now seemingly uncaring about anything; and finally his own fall from the top the stairs after attacking and being shot by Laurie Strode.
- The sound of Corey’s voice when he calls Allyson to tell her that they need to leave Haddonfield was inspired by the killer’s phone calls in the 1974 horror classic Black Christmas.
- The tableaus that close the film are an echo of the 1978 film’s ending, but, as Green says, “Where there was once breathing and continuation, now there is silence, but with a curious mask and a familiar song.”
Halloween Ends Collector’s Edition is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD, as well as 4K Steelbook from Best Buy, 4K alternate art Steelbook from Zavvi, and 4K alternate cover from Walmart, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
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#HalloweenEnds 4K Collector's Edition arrived this week! Read our full review and breakdown of all the bonus features and feature commentary highlights here: https://t.co/YCKHZUsIWS
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